Thousands of Pakistanis have applied for UAE amnesty, says ambassador

Embassy, consulate providing ongoing support for Pakistanis to settle their legal status

Abu Dhabi: The number of Pakistanis who visited amnesty centres in the UAE to clear their legal status has been in the thousands, said the Pakistani ambassador to the UAE,

The envoy urged those who have been staying in the country illegally to take advantage of the UAE’s general amnesty programme.

Launched on August 1, the UAE amnesty is open to anyone who has been residing illegally in the country, to resolve their legal stay or exit from the country without facing fines or prosecution. The amnesty period will come to an end on October 31.

“First of all, we are very grateful and thankful to the UAE government for this initiative, I think it’s very generous of them to have offered this amnesty,” said Ambassador Moazzam Ahmad Khan.

“Unfortunately, some Pakistanis have been living here without proper documentation. With most of them, I would say that it’s been out of ignorance of the procedures and regulations. But again, we are thankful to the UAE government for giving the opportunity to rectify our people’s status if they are illegals,” he added.

Commenting on the number of Pakistanis who applied for amnesty, Khan said that he estimated it to be well below 10,000, but it could exceed this number by October 31.

“At the moment, around a couple of thousands have applied. It’s ongoing, but my estimate is that the number will not exceed 10,000. I hope and am quite confident that the numbers will not be too high.”

The Pakistan Embassy and Consulate are urging everybody who has not been able to get their papers regularised to do so and to make the most out of this chance, he added.

The missions were providing as much support as they could, including a 24-hour embassy hotline and staff workers at the amnesty centres.

“We have set up a 24-hour helpline for anyone to call, and have dedicated officers to look after this programme. “The embassy and consulate have also stationed staff at amnesty centres to help those who visit, to give them information on how they can resolve their status,” he added.

“It’s taken a lot of logistical planning. The UAE government announced this ahead of time, so the embassy and consulate got together and planned everything. Our main goal is to help our people and to encourage them to fix their status,” Khan said.


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